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tv   [untitled]    September 8, 2014 9:00am-9:31am PDT

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effect. so i strongly urge you to go back and say, if we have the money and putting our money where our mouth is so to speak and say we do believe in accessibility, that's something we should do is providing mandatory wheelchair accessible vans. it would be great to your city to be able to show this off as opposed to having over the computer training. that's one of mine. okay. i think that's all i have for now. we are going to councilmember harriet wong. >> hi, going back to what chip was saying about how some don't use credit cards. perhaps uber can have their own type of gift card or
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smart pass. and then i wanted to go to the topic of the on board training. i think that's really important. so, i think there also needs to be perhaps so many hours of classroom training. some sensitivity type training. and i was going to ask you the question of whether uber, like would drive from san francisco to san jose or something like that and actually give you the price ahead of time, right? >> yes. you can see the price before you request the car. so if you are dependent on knowing that number before your decision you can have that information right there. as well as the distance of the trip. the drivers are very clearly instructed that they are to accept whatever trip
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is requested by the driver. we have some that are very long from time to time and that's something that comes with the gig. but we are also happy that we have the accountability to show in the data if a rider requests a ride and a driver arrives at that location and then cancels the trip for any reason, that's alerted to us right away so we can follow up why that happened. cancellations when the driver arrives whether they are asking for any sort of particular request or whether they have a seeing i dog -- eye dog and the trip is canceled, that's something we follow up immediately. >> is there an additional charge when you pass the county lines? >> no. there aren't. it's done
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by miles, if there is tolls as you cross the bridge. >> that's great. i know someone who would like to visit her mother in san jose or pacifica buses are once an hour and you have to transfer to another bus. >> we have a lot of what we call transportation deserts that exist in the bay area and the country. that's a need there that we see being really important that people have. it's being able to access reliable and affordable transportation across these areas that are typically under served. yeah. >> thank you. >> councilmember roland wong? >> yes. thank you very much for the presentation and i love technology. i love using my phone too to do all kinds
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of stuff. i'm more concerned about you mentioned about the online training. i feel that's not really -- it's good in a way, but in reality you should have more of hands-on. i'm also a councilmember of the para transit coordinating council, part of the sf mta accessible services. we have a very stringent training program from even sensitivity training. it's just a whole array of training sessions in order for a driver to be certified. that's really a big concern that people with disabilities need to be safe while they ride on their vehicles. so, anyway, i probably have a lot more to
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say, but that's one of the biggest things that i hear is not very pleasing to my ears right now. maybe can you provide us your business card so we can follow up? >> absolutely. i would be very interested in hearing if you have particular organizations or recommend people that do that type of training. >> yes. >> thank you. >> councilmember kostanian? >> thank you for coming today. will you give an option for people who speak several languages to be at the switchboard but also drivers? >> yeah. we actually don't require any sort of language test or anything like that to come on board. a driver who is bilingual is very valuable to us. >> thank you.
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>> okay. now i'm going to open it up to staff? >> hi, ms. o'neal. thank you for coming. i think it's very telling in our efforts to open up the topic today how uber was the only company that accepted our invitation to come and present. even though you provided us with contacts, none of your colleagues wanted to take the chance and engage in dialogue. thank you very much for your efforts and your openness to this. now i have a couple questions. you talked about the drivers that do not follow your accessibility protocols or they are caught with not following procedures that there is an enforcement process. can you give us more details about that. how many times does an uber driver have to not accept a guide dog to
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be terminated? what is your procedure? >> typically when there is a report of any kind that we take seriously whether it's driving under the influence which we have a zero tolerance policy for itd and we have a zero tolerance for discrimination. when there is a reported nature of that, the driver's ability to use the app is immediately put on hold pending investigation. so that happens immediately while there is an investigation that occurs. so we make sure to make contact with all parties involved. few times that there have been complaints, for example about a service dog. there was a very unique situation where the driver say had an allergy or something that we wanted to know everything about and making sure that's valid and once we complete the investigation and we find things to be still not satisfactory, the driver is
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taken off the platform immediately. to conform with that, there is a variety of ways that happens. the driver always has a rating. you can see the drivers rating. right now, the lowest out of five stars is 4.6. so, you know, this is not only one time feedback that we get, but we take feedback comprehensiveively and make sure that no one ever falls below our standards. >> thank you, that's helpful and since we are talking about statistics and numbers and ratings. do you have any breakdowns of disability related requests, feed backs or whatever you received over the last six months, the last year. do you have someone who works with customer service feedback and with the special
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emphasis on disability or accessibility issues or are there plans for somebody like that? >> yeah. we don't have that right now. currently our customer service staff address every issue across the board. i don't have on me specific numbers, but i would be interested to get that information because i'm sure we have it. >> thank you. >> all right. i think we are ready to open it up to the public. councilmember harriet wong? are you sure? okay. so first we have john alex from the pedestrian and safety advisory committee.
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>> thank you ms. o'neal for representing uber in san francisco. i have a question regarding service intervals. is it a functional request that you state you will have a service animal when you register the car and if so, do you state it's a registered, licensed service animal because there is a difference between over the years of exist some are and some aren't. do you specify? >> we don't specify. if someone says they have a service animal. they have a service animal in our book. that's not something that we
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require anyone to show any proof of. we take that at face value. >> we have charles raf bon. >> good afternoon, councilmembers. i am charles rather born from the cab company. we have been serving all the people of san francisco for more than 80 years and recent decades have been leading provider of accessible services. i would like to start off by saying to the people with disabilities of san francisco, thank you for your business. it means a lot to us. on the subject of uber, lord, there is a lot to say. uber does not accept prearranged service request.
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it makes the service pretty useless for folks who need to arrange a medical appointment. they require you to use a cellphone or computer. mark soto told me recently that more than 80 percent of the para transit users do not use computers at all. uber requires passengers to wave virtually every legal right as a condition of using their services. imagine what would happen if you went to use a taxi cab and we would require you to sign a contract waving all liabilities for accidents, safety, up to and including death. the bottom line, actually is that providing service to people with disabilities is expensive. staff call centers are expensive. wheel chair
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accessible vehicles are expensive. when the city allowed uber to compete directly with taxis without the expense of serving disabled people, it began a process of undermining the taxi company's ability to provide accessible services. two years ago analects -- luxor offered several accessible cabs, now we have fewer than 10 in service on the streets today. i assure you that it is due 100 percent to the city and now the c puc allowing uber to skim the cream off the top to cherry pick the most profitable rides while giving disabled people
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promises about service later. just very briefly, uber is accountable to no one. you have to accept their word for everything. we heard today about the on boarding process. a few months ago did an investigative report. the vehicle inspection was an uploaded photograph of the vehicle. nbc did an investigative report in three cities. the background checks were virtually non-existent. you have to take a lot of what you heard today with a big grain of salt. any ways, there is a lot more to say about for instance, what's next? but i see my time has run out. thank you for your patience. >> thank you.
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>> next we have charles minister. >> thank you. council. i'm also a member of the senior disability action and california alliance for retired americans. this has been a dis in genius public relates by uber. this is a capital enterprise. you have to answer to someone, that's your stockholders. i believe they have been capitalized to over $10 billion and they didn't until a couple months ago. they are running out of laptops and phones. they are here devouring and destroying services that have been responsible to communities
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for decades. regulations that have been in place for decades to protect the riding public and workers. i'm a retired union. i know what it takes when you work for a living and they have no protection at all those workers. i was at the california public utilities commission hearing when uber and the rest of these ride sharing programs were given carte blanche to operate in this state. they gave them and i'm sure there was a lot of lobbying and probably bribing going on. they had to do something with that $10 billion. they hadn't produced any physical presence. they are angling to get the city
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to fund the vehicles for them to operate. that's the future. that's what they are looking for. they don't want to spend any of their cash for that. they have to take care of their stockholders. so, we already know about their insurance history. they did all they can to get that reduced. as i made the point clear, for the public utilities commission. i might decide, say i was a fisher man and i'm going to start under cutting the pilots and bring the ships to the harbor and put anchor on my fishing boat, i'm sure they would put a stop to that real quick. these people are operating like in london, you need to know just about every street
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in london to operate a taxi cab. imagine what that's doing to the industry there. these guys are sharks. we don't trust sharks very much. be weary. thank you. >> next, we have walter park. >> mr. chairman and members of the commission, council. i would also like to thank you for coming. your talk was vague and i think you heard a lot more specific questions trying to get to that and i think that's where people in this room would like to go and maybe some of our elected
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officials also. city of chicago is in the process of enacting an ordinance on tmc's. they are going to cover uber and there are a lot of things in it that have been required to discuss today. would you have any chicago's provisions in san francisco. >> can you speak to what provisions in chicago you are referring to? >> have you seen the chicago ordinance? >> no. i have not. >> i will send it to you. it's too much to talk about in 3 minutes. it's driver training, insurance, accessibility of vehicles, requirements. for instance you say you have options for vehicle transit, what are those options now in san francisco? >> our option in san francisco ? >> for a person using a wheelchair. >> this is one of our
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challenges. we don't have wheelchair available in san francisco right now. that's why we are here. that's a priority for us and we want to find a way to partner with existing operators of those vehicles whether they are independent or with the city. that's a huge priority for us. >> well, okay. the ada has required that since the day you started and for a dozen years before that. could you consider it now. you said you have deaf drivers which is terrific. i think it's a way to serve deaf drivers. how many do you have and how many deaf users do they serve in >> i don't have numbers for you today. >> this group meets monthly. can you get these numbers on these important questions. these are really baseline questions. it doesn't matter if you have 10,000 deaf users
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or 10. it's where we are starting today. who you the the numbers we don't know where we are starting. >> one of the things leading to that is that we don't track data about people's hearing ability or disability when they are a rider or driver. they are allowed to operate on our system without this regard. this is something we are aware of but we don't track data on people's ability or disabilities to use different things. >> well, your a data company. i wouldn't expect you to track that on your riders. >> thank you. >> the other thing i would like to underline is i know you like to do things online but training on disability culture and disability needs is not going to work online. you are going to have to get in a room with people. i would like to see your plan on that
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some time soon. >> we have one more comment michael better rnick and then we are going into break. >> mr. chairman, i wasn't planning to speak. to tell you the truth, i was just here to see my daughter make the presentation. we've never met. i have nothing to do with uber. i have been on the board of bart and transit for many years and i think a lot of the questions that have been raised including by our friends with the taxi industry are good questions. but one thing i'm very involved with now is our autism community. we have a group calls ascend. which i'm going to invite you. very few of them driver. some of them have started using
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uber and it's opened up a whole new world in new options. it's a young industry here but all of us in the disability community should look at working with uber, the other ride sharing companies. i think it opens up in terms of transportation options, a lot of options that we haven't had before. again very good questions about where ub erer is in terms of jobs and i think it's something all of us would like to look into the future. >> any other comments. it's limited to two minutes 2 minutes in the interest of time. >> howard chad ner again. >> howard, if you can approach the microphone? >> can you hear me? i can't speak to the issue of blind people and deaf people and
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guide dogs, but it's 100 percent clear what mr. wrath bone said. you are basically decimating the cab industry and the san francisco enabled that. it maybe too late but we hope not. the fact is that it's been difficult to get the cab industry over decades to provide wheelchair accessible transportation. i think that until a few years ago they got better at it. but with the ride sharing companies, now you don't call of that anymore because sharing is like, hey, would you like some of my sandwich. sharing is not a commercial. just like facebook is defining the word friend downward. all of this called
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sharing economy is defining the word sharing downward. that is a bit of an aggression. what you are talking about is window dressing in terms of accessible taxis. because you are basically going to take the position that you are not legally required to do it. you said with pride the typical wait now in san francisco is 3 minutes. i wonder what that would be if you have a few wheelchair accessible vehicles. this is unregulated business and yes, there is always some benefits to that otherwise it wouldn't make any end roads. but the regulations exist for a reason and this is just being undermined. i blame not only uber and the other transportation expert companies, but san francisco for enabling this to happen. >> thank you. next we have
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wendy. again in the interest of time, please limit your comments to two minutes.2 minutes. >> 1 minute. not even three. thank you. concerning uber. big gad in yahoo showing three different levels of taxis. uber vehicles. outrageously expensive as far as not accepting credit cards. what about the para transit cards that we get, would that be something that would be accepted. it also gives us a discount and i know several cab drivers whose lives and livelihood are being
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imperiled beyond is survival. so please bear that in mind like charles pointed out. i think charles, i know the vehicles, less and less. that's all. the cards. >> thank you. really quickly to check in with anyone on the line have any questions or comments? okay. then we will go for a 10 -minute break. again i would like to thank our speaker today. i did not see a number next to these cards. okay. we'll take one more comment and then we'll go to break. >> my name is rue grapis i
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have been a cab driver for 40 years and i'm a member of the transit coordinating council. i have several questions for you, ms. caitlin o'neil. you said the drivers have some training. how many minutes or hours is that is in person? you said online training. i'm interested in in person training. and what are the qualifications for your trainers? taxi drivers get a department of justice level, background check. is that comparable. do you get the same level of background check for uber drivers? and just to reiterate para transit is really important because
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people who are disabled are often on fixed incomes. i know in order for you to take para transit, you are going to have to have a million dollars worth of insurance. i know in sacramento, that was, that's not even close to what they are discussing at the moment. whether or not you've got someone in the car or not. as far as the gps goes, the traffic is out the windshield. gps just makes sure that the driver is going to be distracted while they are driving. while you are doing your trainingcious , i think it's really important that you do more geography training. the last thing i would suggest for you is a physician's note would need to be on file before the driver refuses someone with a service animal
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or they are toast. okay. we do have a taxi tech and ride share economy forum coming up on wednesday the 23rd. if you can make a minute afterwards, i would love to invite you to be a presenter at that forum. is there someway i can get this on the -- i will give it to whoever it is that comes up here to get it? thank you. and thank you very much for coming. i really appreciate your interest in this. and i know that technology

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